MANILA (Mabuhay) – President Benigno S. Aquino III on Friday honored 33 outstanding overseas Filipinos and foreign-based organizations during the conferment of the 2014 Presidential Awards for Filipino Individuals and Organizations Overseas held in Malacañang Palace.
In his speech, President Aquino expressed his gratitude to the awardees, noting that although they are based overseas, they have contributed to nation building.
“While the awards you receive today are symbols of your success, I am hopeful that you also treat them as invitations: to continue your pursuit of excellence, and the way you bring pride and honor to our country,” he said.
“Let us continue doing our very best to fulfill our individual roles in nation building. We have changed the way the world sees us, and we must build on this; we must ride our current momentum and show the world that the excellence of the Filipino knows no bounds.”
The Chief Executive said that in the past four years of his administration, the support of the Filipino people has allowed his government to turn the country’s fortunes around for the better.
With the help of the people, he said, the government has been able to carry out reforms, overhaul the budgeting process, and spend public money on beneficial projects.
The government has also successfully channeled the state’s resources to invest in projects geared towards health, education, and poverty alleviation, thus empowering the people, he added.
Institutionalized in 1991 through Executive Order 498, the Presidential Awards is a biennial search for overseas-based individuals and organizations that have dedicated their work to improving the lives of Filipinos abroad.
The awards also recognize those who have selflessly supported the relief, rehabilitation and development programs in the Philippines and those who have excelled in their fields or professions.
The awardees underwent a screening process that was done by three different communities with representatives from the government, civil society, media, academe, religious and business sectors. They emerged from a total of 157 nominations from 29 countries.
The Presidential Awards consist of the Kaanib ng Bayan Award, Lingkod sa Kapwa Pilipino Award, Banaag Award, and Pamana ng Pilipino Award.
The Kaanib ng Bayan Award went to the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (Israel), Wako Asato (Japan), Humana Aid Society, and Dominiek Segaert (Belgium).
The lone recipient of the Lingkod sa Kapwa Pilipino Award was Serenata (Saudi Arabia).
The Banaag Award meanwhile was conferred to the Daegu Filipino Community Council (South Korea), Danilo M. Favor (United Kingdom), Institute of Integrated Electrical Engineers Central Region Chapter Saudi Arabia, Rosa Angelica Libron (South Korea), Augusto Mercado (USA), Migrante Heritage Commission (USA), Victoria V. Navarro (USA), and Anika A. Sasaki (Japan).
The Pamana ng Pilipino Award was granted to Marianito Asperilla (USA), Michael Cinco (UAE), Kristoffer L. Collo (USA), Cristeta Comerford (USA), Sheila S. Coronel (USA), William D. Dar (India), Roderick M. Dela Cruz (USA), Filomenita M. Hoegsholm (Denmark), Jonathan D. Irabagon (USA), Jasmine B. Lee (South Korea), Cecile B. Licad (USA), Sheila Lirio-Marcelo (USA), Robert Lopez (USA), Katherine Luzuriaga (USA), Baldomero M. Olivera (USA), Alfredo R. Roces (Australia), Lea Salonga (USA), Lolita Valderrama-Savaje (USA), Paolo Antonio S. Silva (USA), and Ofelia Gelvezon-Tequi (France). (MNS)